BI Norwegian Business School was first established as a night school by Finn Øien in 1943. Over the next decade, BI came to offer a two-year daytime programme approved by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.
BI has always focused on being innovative and future-oriented. As early as 1963, the decision was made to concentrate on languages at the school and a modern language laboratory was purchased. Four years later, BI purchased the school’s first computer. At this time, there was only one other computer in Norway.
BI’s three-year Bachelor of Management programme was granted government funding in 1969, which provided motivation and drive to expand and improve the programme. In 1983, BI took on its first four professors, and in 1985, BI was awarded the Master in Business and Economics title, which has had great significance for BI’s recognition as a business school.
In 1985, BI established a new network of national schools, and from the end of the 1980s, the three-year Bachelor of Management programme was available at ten BI schools. In the 1990s, BI’s relevance to business and industry was strengthened by entering into partnerships with several large Norwegian companies as well as establishing the Master of Management for continuing education.
BI merged with a number of schools and adopted new subject fields in this way. The Norwegian School of Management – School of Marketing, Oslo Business School and Norges Varehandelshøyskole (Distributive Trades College) (2000) are some of the schools BI merged with.
BI was early (1990) in establishing a full-time master’s programme in English. Foreign exchange became more and more popular both in and out of Norway, and what is now known under the name Bachelor of International Marketing was established as early as in 1979.
The Nordic centre at Fudan in Shanghai was opened in 1995 and the following year, what is now known as the BI Fudan programme was started. In 1999, BI received its first international accreditation, EQUIS, and in the year 2000, the International School of Management (ISM) in Lithuania was established with BI as its primary owner.
Vision for Europe
BI’s vision is to make BI one of Europe’s leading business schools through academic clout and relevance. The goal is to develop some academic spearheads within marketing, strategy, organisational behaviour, business administration and business law, finance and social economics, which will make BI one of Europe’s top business schools.